Reporting about the two White House aides who left their posts in recent days after being accused of domestic violence is “soap opera news,” according to Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL).
During a CNN interview on Monday morning, host Chris Cuomo described the accusations made by former White House staff secretary Rob Porter’s ex-wives, including photographs one woman, Colbie Holderness, his first wife, shared with the media showing her with various facial injuries.
“This was real here. And it was ignored in order to support someone that the White House liked,” Cuomo said, referring to the fact that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, White House counsel, and other senior staff to President Trump reportedly knew about of the allegations made against Porter but allowed him to keep working in the White House anyway.
On Sunday, the White House said David Sorensen, a member of the Trump administration’s speechwriting team, resigned after he, too, was accused of domestic abuse.
But Brooks said he didn’t want to discuss that news.
“Chris, to me, this is kind of soap opera news,” Brooks said. “I’m not in a position who’s telling the truth and who’s not.”
Cuomo cut in to ask, “Domestic violence is soap opera news?” but Brooks kept talking.
“I haven’t looked at the evidence,” the congressman said. “I have’t talked to a single witness who has personal knowledge, and I’d really much prefer, if I’m going to be on your show, to talk about public policy matters — deficit and debt, immigration, things of that nature.”
Porter’s ex-wives have described terrifying physical and emotional abuse. Porter’s second wife, Jennifer Willoughby, told The Daily Mail that Porter pulled her naked out of the shower after a fight about a year into their marriage and that he was verbally abusive to her. Willoughby also filed a temporary protective order after an incident in 2010 after Porter allegedly punched a glass door in their home. The Mail published the police complaint filed at the time last week, too.
Holderness, his first wife, described a similar pattern of abuse, telling the Mail Porter kicked her, chocked her, and punched her in the face on their honeymoon.
All of that, Brooks said, should be off-limits for discussion on a morning news program.
“When you start talking about personnel matters or what’s going on behind closed doors in a marital relationship that I know nothing about, I’m just not comfortable commenting on that,” Brooks said.